A great song can be sung by anybody. But, rarely does a cover equal or surpass a true original. Sometimes, a good cover version will shoot a ray of light on the original artist, hidden in plain sight. Sometimes. After the media blitz is over, and you're no longer the corporate critics whores' flavor of the week, will you continue to compose, to create? The greats do. Leonard Cohen did.
In fact, some covers of Leonard's work are legendary. In some cases, his songs helped other artists’ careers. Judy Collins, Joni Mitchell, Joe Cocker, Jennifer Warnes and Jeff Buckley are but a few. "Everybody Knows" originally appeared on Leonard Cohen's 1988 album "I'm Your Man". It had very little impact. In 1995, Don Henley included it on his greatest hits album to implore fans to buy it, back when that was still a thing. Great artists and their songs are like a time bomb, a land mine, or a silent guided drone missile shot at you from a thousand miles away. It's lying in wait. It’s waiting to go off when you stumble upon it. It’s ready to detonate above your head. You’ll be blown away by its truth when you finally discover it.
Because a great song/work of art, is forever.
Pushing the envelope was key, and the music spoke for him. The music was speaking, because he wasn't speaking at all. He'd checked out, joined a monastery, lost all his money, and went on tour. Leonard just released a new album that got rave reviews. He was in search of pleasure, experienced the pain. Leonard Cohen was a seeker, and died on November 7, 2016.